[Advaita-l] vidvat-sannyAsa (was Re: Shortest Sentence in English is a Mahaa Vaakya?)

S Jayanarayanan sjayana at yahoo.com
Mon Mar 23 14:01:34 CDT 2015

Jaldhar H. Vyas wrote:
> On Tue, 17 Mar 2015, sreenivasa murthy via Advaita-l wrote:
> > Is mahavakya upadesha has to be given only to sanyasins? Why ?
> Something which often gets lost in this discussions is that there are two 
> basic kinds of sannyasis.  Those who have taken it up a spiritual 
> discipline with a view to preparing to achieve jnana and those who have 
> already achieved jnana and therefore are in sannyasa by default because 
> there is nothing left in this samsara for them to desire.  Both of them 
> will respond to the mahavakya in a different way.
There are two kinds of sannyAsa:
1) VividiShA sannyAsa: taken to attain GYAna.
2) Vidvat sannyAsa: taken after GYAna, to attain steadiness in GYAna.
> > Are not the
> > householders entitled for Atmajnana?
> As part of a brahmachari's vedadhyayana he also learns the words of the 
> upanishads and as a grhastha it will be part of his svadhyaya but at this 
> point it is book-knowledge.  Only by the threefold process of shravana, 
> manana, and nidhidhyasana can that be turned into jnana.  By that time he 
> will no longer have any use for samsara.
Anyone in any Ashrama may attain GYAna, but in order to steady the GYAna, vidvat sannyAsa is taken up.
> > The Vedic Rishis were not sanyasins.
> > Yajnavlkya Of Bruhadaranyaka Upanishad was a gRuhasta
> And as Maitreyibrahmana shows, he settled all his vast wealth on his wives 
> and left grhasthashrama.
YAGYavalkya is an example of one who took up vidvat sannyAsa:
'atha ha yAGYavalkyo.anyadvR^ittamupAkarishhyanmaitreyIti
hovAcha yAGYavalkyaH pravrajishhyanvA are.ahamasmAt.h
sthAnAdasmi' iti, [BU 4.5.12]
etAvadare khalvamR^itatvam iti hoktvA yAGYavalkyo
pravavrAja iti cha. [BU 4.5.15]
"Thus YAGYavalkya, who was about to accept the life of a sannyAsI said: 'O Maitreyi,
I am going to give up this life of a householder and take to pravrajyA.
For this indeed leads to immortality.'
Saying so, YAGYavalkya left." (BU 4.5.12 and 4.5.15)
> > and he taught
> > Brahmavidya to Janaka who was a  a King. Ajatashatru who taught Brahmavidya
> > to Balaki was a king.
> Shankaracharya discusses Janaka in the bhashya on Gita 3.20.  Such people 
> only engage in "play-acting" so that their subjects who lack proper 
> understanding might not unthinkingly imitate the vairagya of a jnani 
> and be led astray.
> > Saunaka who was a gruhasta was taught paravidya by Angiras. The very 
> > first mantra of Mundaka Upanishad states : "sa brahmavidyAM 
> > sarvavidyApratiShThAm jyEShThaputrAya prAha ||"
> >
> The jyeShTaputra mentioned is atharva who is a mind-born son of brahma 
> (i.e. prajApati not brahman.) and is not a grhastha.  He taught it to 
> Angih who taught SatyavAha BhAradvaja who taught a~Ngirasa.  It was he who 
> taught the great householder (mahAshAlin) shaunaka.
> > So  the Upanishadic tradition is that The Guru imparts Brahmavidya to a
> > shishya who approaches Guru with humility.
> What the upanishad says is that shaunaka vidhivadupasanna "approached him 
> [a~Ngirasa] according to ceremony or in the proper manner."  What is that 
> ceremony or manner (vidhi)?  Why sannyasa of course!  If shaunakas prior 
> state had been acceptable, there would be no need for a "proper manner". 
> Interestingly Shankaracharya implies that there was no standard vidhi in 
> ancient times and it is shaunaka who has formalized it. Be that as it may 
> shaunaka despite his wealth and power chose to give it up for the sake of 
> moksha.  That is the point of that story.
> > That is the true and genuine
> > tradition. Brahmavidya is not the monopoly of sanyasins . Any man who has
> > that intense desire for mukti is entitled for Atmajnana.
> He is entitled to desire it but the upanishad goes on to say (1.2.12)
> parikShya lokAnkarmachitAnbrAhmaNo nirvedamAyannAstyakR^itaH kR^itena |
> tadviGYAnArthe sa gurumevAbhigachchhetsamitpANiH shrotriyaM brahmaniShTam ||
> "Having examined the worlds won by karma, let a brAhmaNa be free of desire 
> and think "there is nothing eternal produced by karma" and with that in 
> mind approach with samidh in hand, a guru who is learned and immersed in 
> brahman."
> By "free of desire" it doesn't mean "free of most desires except an iPhone 
> and a fancy car." and when it says to approach a guru who is brahmaniShTa 
> "immersed in brahman" it doesn't mean "mostly immersed in brahman except 
> when making a powerpoint presentation in the weekly sales meeting."!
> On Tue, 17 Mar 2015, sreenivasa murthy via Advaita-l wrote:
> > When Sri Shankara  wrote commentary to Bhagavadgita , he wrote certain 
> > teachings to suit the needs of the persons of that time. The> same may 
> > not hold any water in the present times.
> And what time would that be?
> > What was possible during the times of Upanishads is also possible during 
> > the present times.
> Exactly.  Sannyasa is just as possible in "present times" as ever :-)
> >  The social conditions, living conditions etc. have changed.
> And so?  Vedanta is asking the mumukshu to give up "social conditions" Are 
> you implying this can't be done now?
> > It is absolutely necessary that the method of conveying the fundamental 
> > metaphysical truths should change  to suit the needs of the present day 
> > mumukshus.
> Any "fundamental truth" which is subject to the vagaries of fashion can't 
> be very fundamental.  The needs of the mumukshus of today -- to withdraw 
> from maya and seek satya -- are no different than they ever were so the 
> method of Vedanta is also no different."
> > It is a matter of deep regret that the clinging to redundant
> > ideologies and obsolete sampradayas.
> Ha! You regret it so much you joined a group of people learning about 
> Shankaracharya and his "obsolete" sampradaya.  That sampradaya which if it 
> had not cling to redundant ideology, today Suleiman Murthy would be 
> discussing the fine points of the koran on Islam-l.  If as you say 
> humility is the entry-point to Brahmavidya, you have just disqualified 
> yourself.
> -- 
> Jaldhar H. Vyas



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